Democratic Republic of the Congo

USAID is responding to an Ebola outbreak in DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, working with partners to boost infection prevention and control, upgrade water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure at health facilities, raise awareness about Ebola in communities, and provide other life-saving assistance.
USAID is responding to an Ebola outbreak in DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, working with partners to boost infection prevention and control, upgrade water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure at health facilities, raise awareness about Ebola in communities, and provide other life-saving assistance.
Kellie Ryan/International Rescue Committee

Key Developments

The Ebola outbreak in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has continued to spread across Équateur Province in recent weeks. To address increasing humanitarian needs, USAID announced more than $3 million in funding on August 7 to support health and logistics operations in Équateur, as well as an additional $4.5 million to support continued activities in eastern DRC.

Increased violence and armed group attacks displaced more than 1 million people in eastern DRC's Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu provinces between January and June, according to the UN. The violence has also disrupted humanitarian access to internally displaced persons in several areas.

In June, the UN released a revised 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan for the DRC to reflect increased needs resulting from the violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised plan aims to reach 9.2 million people or 1.1 million more than previously forecast.

Background

Violence, restricted humanitarian access, poor infrastructure, forced recruitment into armed groups, and reduced access to agricultural land and traditional markets have contributed to the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the DRC and triggered mass internal displacement and refugee outflows. Despite the implementation of a peace agreement in 2003, ongoing fighting between forces loyal to the Government of the DRC and various armed entities has contributed to high levels of insecurity and population displacement in eastern DRC.  In addition, intensified fighting in central DRC’s Kasaï region since August 2016 generated new humanitarian needs that have persisted despite improved security conditions. The country has also seen large-scale epidemics, including outbreaks of cholera, Ebola, and measles in recent years.  On October 22, 2019, U.S. Ambassador Michael A. Hammer redeclared a disaster in eastern DRC due to ongoing humanitarian needs specifically resulting from an Ebola outbreak in the region; Ambassador Hammer reissued a separate disaster declaration for the complex emergency on November 7, 2019.  Heavy seasonal rainfall can cause localized flooding in parts of the DRC, resulting in damage to public infrastructure and increased humanitarian needs in affected areas.  Ambassador Hammer issued separate disaster declarations due to the humanitarian impact of flooding in northern DRC and South Kivu Province’s Uvira Territory on November 27, 2019, and April 23, 2020, respectively. On June 8, 2020, Ambassador Hammer issued a separate disaster declaration due to a separate Ebola outbreak in northwestern DRC's Équateur Province. 

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Last updated: September 22, 2020

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